Bringing a baby into the world can bring great joy to parents. With that joy, however, comes bills. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average middle-income American family spends roughly $12,980 annually per child.
For young adults only accustomed to providing for themselves, the financial shock of having a baby can be a big burden if not planned for properly. Thankfully for those expecting, there are financial products available that make it easier and more rewarding to spend for that tiny new family member on the way.
When used responsibly, credit cards are great for covering expenses that come with having a child, thanks in big part to their versatility. Cards are available for consumers all across the credit spectrum, and can also provide rewards options that match perfectly with the purchases incurred when buying for a baby.
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Reel in the Rewards
It’s safe to say that when expecting a baby, a lot of your priorities change. How you spend money (i.e., where you use your credit card) is a great example. Purchases for travel and dining out are likely going to decrease in favor of increased shopping at big box retailers and supermarkets.
When it comes to credit card rewards that offer cash back or points, it’s important to identify where you’ll have the most purchasing power based on these new spending habits. If you plan on using your card mostly at a department store to furnish a nursery, or a grocery store to buy baby food and diapers, it’s important to (link: /learn/about-creditcards/where-to-earn-the-best-credit-card-rewards text: pick a rewards program) where you can rack up the highest cash back or points value. There are also cards that reward a favorable cash back bonus on all purchases.
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In addition, expecting parents who plan on doing most of their spending online can also benefit from rewards programs that are tied to e-commerce. Card-linked programs with big e-comm sites can provide great value to consumers, especially when combined with online promo or coupon codes at checkout.
In addition, by adding one parent as an authorized user, couples can maximize rewards benefits by both making purchases on the same account for everything from doctor visits to carseats.
Cards to Help Your Credit
Of course, not everybody is in the financial position to rack up rewards when using a credit card for baby expenses. Some people just need to cover the essentials, including costly medical bills, while remaining financially afloat.
For consumers with lower credit scores, or those who are new to managing credit card debt, there are options available to pay for baby expenses while staying within a budget. For example, secured credit cards are ideal for expecting parents who may struggle to get approved for rewards-based cards. Secured cards typically don’t require a credit check for approval, but can allow couples with lower credit to build their scores back up while making necessary purchases for their baby.
Consumers with existing cards who are worried about taking on more debt can consider a balance transfer to a card with a lower interest rate in order to more easily pay off their bills. By transferring a balance to card with a 0% (link: /learn/about-creditcards/what-are-the-benefits-of-an-introductory-apr text: introductory APR) offer, an expecting couple can pay off their transferred debt and make additional baby purchases at zero interest, for as long as the 0% APR period lasts.
Whether you’re looking to maximize rewards programs, or just buy baby necessities without getting buried in debt, a credit card can be a helpful resource for consumers from all types of financial backgrounds. It’s important to carefully compare the offers available, before picking the right credit card that best meets you and your baby’s needs.
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